How much money will this cost me?
One-Time Registration Fee
- $25 per family registration fee. This is a one-time non-refundable fee for the life of your current enrollment. There is no need to re-enroll annually if there are no lapses in tuition. All fees and tuition are non-refundable.
Monthly or Yearly Costs
- $10 per month for 1 student or $110 per year (with annual advance payment, one month is free)
- $15 per month for 2 students or $160 per year (with annual advance payment, one and a half months free)
- $20 per month for 3 students or $200 per year (with annual advance payment, two months free)
- $25 per month for 4 students or $225 per year (with annual advance payment, two and a half months free)
- $350 per year for 5 to 10 students. This will need to be paid in advance, with no monthly payments.
Scholarships and Sponsorships
We have a scholarship/sponsorship program for those in need. Please see the application process to qualify for the scholarship program. If you’d like to donate tuition to the scholarship fund, please visit our donation page. Sponsorship will get you or your business mentioned on our website, social media, and monthly newsletter.
Attendance is automatically recorded each month with paid tuition. If paid annually, the attendance will be automatically recorded each month during your paid school year and automatically counted. When paying monthly, attendance will be automatically recorded for each month of tuition paid. If one attendance payment/month is missed, there will be no consequences other than paying for the month missed. If two or more months are missed, the student(s) will be withdrawn and must re-enroll to be reinstated and comply with compulsory attendance laws. Upon re-enrolling, a $25 re-enrollment fee will be due, and the balance of the school year will need to be paid in full.
Does being a member of a private school (that offers a homeschooling option) take the place of the record keeping and testing requirements required of homeschooler by the county/state?
Registering with a private school is a valid alternative for homeschoolers who choose not to register with the home education office in their county. Those registered in a private school must meet the requirements of that private school within the law. HPA does not require a particular method of record keeping, report cards, transcripts, curriculum, classes, credits, or testing. However, we encourage all families to document learning activities in some form. We offer optional online record keeping of your report cards and transcripts on our website as part of our service. We also encourage you to keep portfolios containing samples of your child’s work throughout the year, photos, reading lists, etc. Portfolios are a great way to document your child’s progress and accomplishments. These portfolios will not only serve as a scrapbook of your child’s work, but they can also be invaluable in later years when applying to colleges or seeking job positions.
What does the term “600 school” mean?
Many private schools serving the homeschooling community call themselves “600” or “umbrella” schools. The fact is that they are non-public schools just the same as every other non-public school in Florida. The “600” refers to the statute numbers that some schools choose to incorporate under. It is not required to incorporate to be a non-public school.
When I enroll with HPA, whom do I have to tell? Do I have to notify the county? Do I notify my local public school?
You do not have to notify anyone about your decision to enroll your child in a private school unless your child is already registered in another school or homeschool program. If enrolled in another school, they must formally withdraw from that school. The process will be determined by the school in question, as all schools will vary in their withdrawal requirements; please contact the school and withdraw accordingly.
If registered with your county as a homeschooler, you would need to send them a letter of termination of the homeschool program. All this is explained in detail below:
If your child is enrolled in a public or private school and wants to change to Hillcrest Private Academy, you MUST formally withdraw from the other school within 30 days of registering with HPA. You must contact the school to find out what they require. If you stop showing up at the public school without withdrawing, you start the truancy process, and a truancy officer may show up at your door. I recommend enrolling with HPA before withdrawing from your current program so there is no lapse in coverage.
When the public or private school wants to know where you are transferring your child, the answer is either “I am homeschooling” or “I will be enrolling in a non-public “cover” school as my homeschooling option.” If you would like a copy of your child’s school records, you can request them. You, the parent, have legal rights to view your child’s records. By law, they must give them to you, but school officials do not make many school office personnel aware of this. If needed, we can send them a records request based on the information you provided when you enrolled. Here is the state statute in case you need it:
1002.22 Education records and reports of K-12 students; rights of parents and students; notification; penalty. —
(a) Students and their parents shall have the right to access their education records, including the right to inspect and review those records.
(4) PENALTY. —if any official or employee of an institution refuses to comply with this section, the aggrieved parent or student has an immediate right to bring an action in circuit court to enforce his or her rights by injunction. Any aggrieved parent or student who brings such action and whose rights are vindicated may be awarded attorney’s fees and court costs.
If you filed a notice of intent to homeschool, thereby establishing your Home Education Program with your local school board, and want to change to the private school option, you MUST send a letter of termination to the county within 30 days of enrollment in a private school. It should be something like this: “This is to notify you that the Home Education Program for (Student Name) has been terminated. (S)He is now enrolled in a private school.” You will send this termination letter to the Superintendent or the person on the school board you sent your letter of intent. You must do this! If you stop turning in your annual report, you start the truancy process, and a truancy officer may appear at your door. Please be aware, as per the FL State Statutes, they may require you to have your student complete an evaluation before they allow the termination. Here is a Notice of Termination you may use if you choose.
Yes, you’re still homeschooling; you’re just doing it using the private school option instead of the HEP option. Using this option, your students are legally considered private school students, not homeschooled students.
I understand that the state requires 180 days of attendance. How do I report attendance?
Attendance is automatically recorded each month with paid tuition. If paid annually, the attendance will be automatically recorded each month during your paid school year and automatically counted. When paying monthly, attendance will be automatically recorded for each month of tuition paid.
If one attendance/month is missed, there will be no consequences other than paying for the month missed. If two or more months are missed, the student(s) will be withdrawn and must re-enroll to be reinstated and comply with compulsory attendance laws. Upon re-enrolling, a $25 re-enrollment fee will be due, and the balance of the school year will need to be paid in full.
Do I need to be registered with the county/state if I enroll in a private school such as HPA?
No! If you register with HPA and as a homeschooler with your county simultaneously, you will receive a notice from the county that your annual evaluation is due! When you enroll in HPA or any private school, you MUST NOT register with the Home Education program in your county. As a registered student of HPA, your student will not be recognized by the state of Florida as a home-educated student but as a private school student.
Registering with the county as a home education student AND registering with a private school is not legally required and goes against the Florida State Statutes. You cannot lawfully be enrolled in both simultaneously. If your school or county requests it, please follow up with them concerning the law.
However, if you registered with the state home education program (via your local school board), you MUST send them a Notice of Termination within 30 days of enrollment with HPA. Any student registered with the state home education program must terminate the homeschool program, regardless of whether you enroll the child in a public or private school or transfer your home education program to another county. The only thing required by law is the child’s name, address, and the parent’s signature on the letter stating that you are ending your “state home education program. “You may choose to tell them where you plan to enroll or if you are moving out of state, but the law does not require it. Please be aware that, as per FL State Statutes, they may require you to submit an evaluation before terminating your homeschool program. Here is a Notice of Termination you may use if you choose.
Does HPA provide classes or curriculum?
No, you are free to use any curriculum or choose none; it is entirely up to you. A simple Google search will present you with many options and choices.
If you are new to homeschooling, I suggest you shop around and not spend a lot on a boxed curriculum. Most seasoned homeschoolers end up using a variety of things to teach, and until you learn what works best for your family, it is best not to spend a fortune on something that may not work for you.
Many companies will send you samples of their program if you request them. Join homeschooling groups and ask around, and possibly purchase used or get free materials. The internet offers a plethora of free and low-cost educational options.
Homeschooling does not have to cost you a fortune! We are fortunate to have affiliations with some online programs which offer a complete curriculum for little to no cost. As a student of HPA, you do have the option of using these virtual programs:
- Khan Academy
- Stanford Online
- Open Culture
- Academic Earth
- EdX, Alison
- Harvard Extension
- UC Berkeley Class Central
- MIT OpenCourseWare
- Open Yale Courses
- Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative
- National Geographic Kids
- Fun Brain
- Florida Virtual School
Do I have to submit something to HPA so my child can be promoted to the next grade?
Yes, you will state the current grade level in your student profile. As the homeschooling parent and/or teacher, you decide what grade level to teach and when to promote your student(s). Some homeschoolers choose not to use grade levels or promotions at all.
I want to withdraw. What happens if I decide to enroll my child back into public school, change private schools, register with my county as a homeschooler, or move out of state?
If you choose to withdraw from HPA for any reason, please go to the withdraw page and follow the instructions. Please do so within 30 days of withdrawal from our program.
If you were to enroll your child in a different private school, register with the state as a home-educated student, or enroll in a public school, you would have to submit to the enrollment requirements of the state and/or school with which you are registering. If a public school, most often, the student would be placed in an age-appropriate grade level and possibly tested for placement. You may read more about this on the Florida Department of Education website.
When transferring to another school, please tell the school you homeschooled your child under the Florida non-public “cover” school option. If they are told we are just a private school, they will most likely send us a records request, for which we have no records to send unless you have filled out and maintained the online report cards and/or transcripts. Therefore, it would be better for all involved if this were avoided altogether. Please keep in mind that unless you provide the optional report card and/or transcript information in our online portal, we will have nothing to send to them, and you will then be responsible for providing them with that information.
What information does HPA report to the State DOE about my child?
Like every other private school in Florida, HPA must submit an annual report called the “Annual Database Survey.” This survey is done online with a follow-up notarized copy mailed to the State DOE.
On the Database Survey, every private school is asked to confirm basic information about the school (address, owner’s name, whether the school is a boarding school, etc.) and information about the students. The information about the students is a headcount — a count of students broken out by grade range — that’s all. No personal information about you or your child is provided to the State DOE — no names, no Social Security Numbers, no attendance counts — nothing but the number of students enrolled, broken out by grade range. Some of the questions we ask when you report your attendance are for this census survey.
I understand that I, the parent/guardian, handle all curriculum and educational records. Is there anything that needs to be submitted to you at any time?
Yes, the records to be submitted within 30 days of enrollment are as follows:
*The only exception to the requirement of documents is for students outside the US. Students who are non-US citizens residing in foreign countries do not have to provide health documents.
- Proof of age for children entering Kindergarten or those who have never attended any other school ONLY (COPIES of the following: certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, adoption record, passport, etc.). This is not required for any other grade level or if the student has EVER attended ANY other school before. To clarify, if your child has only ever been homeschooled or has never attended school, we will need the birth certificate.
- Certification of a school-entry health examination performed within one year before enrollment or signed statement by the parent or guardian stating objections to such examination on religious grounds. Here is a Letter of Exemption. The link provided here is for both the health examination and the immunizations. You may use it for either or both.
- Certificate of current immunization within one year of submission or signed statement by the parent or guardian stating that the administration of immunization agents conflicts with their religious tenets or practices. Here is a Letter of Exemption. The link provided here is for both the health examination and the immunizations. You may use it for either or both.
We do not see a doctor regularly and/or we do not have the money for a doctor visit, what should we do about the required health and physical forms?
This is not a problem. The statutes state that a parent may object in writing to the health requirement because of religion. You do not have to say what religion you are. You can get a form from your local health department, or you may write a letter and, sign it, upload it to your HPA student profile. You may also use our letters of exemption. Please see the link below for letters of exemption. The link provided here is good for the health examination and immunizations; you may use it for either or both.
Can my high school student participate in public school extracurricular activities?
In some school districts, enrolling in extracurricular activities at your local public high school and some middle schools is easy. However, each school and district sets its policy.
The best thing to do is ask your assigned school or district about the procedures. According to State Statutes, some public school extracurricular activities may be extended to private school students if said private school does not offer the desired program. The school will give you EL12 forms, one for you and one for us to fill out. If you need this form filled out and signed by us, please get in touch with us.
Do you require a statement of faith?
No, HPA does not require a statement of faith as we are not affiliated with any outside entity, religious or secular.
May we register and use Florida Virtual School while enrolled with HPA?
YES! We have an affiliation agreement with Florida Virtual School. This means that students 6–12th grades enrolled in HCPA may register and participate in the Florida Virtual School Flex Program free of charge.
Elementary-aged students in grades K–5 may also participate in the Florida Virtual School Flex Program free of charge. Please be aware that there are some differences in the requirements for the elementary program. Please visit https://flvs.net/elementary for more information.
For middle and high school students residing out of State/Country, FLVS is also an option for you. The FLVS Global is available to you; however, there is a fee. Please visit https://flvs.net/global-school for more information.
Please remember that FLVS is an option and is not required for enrollment. If you want to use this service, please click this link: Florida Virtual School.
When registering with FLVS, please do so as a private school student. After you choose Escambia County as your district, a drop-down box will open with a list of available schools; select Private Hillcrest Academy. If they require a student ID number, this is your student’s social security number. (You may need to add an x to the end of the ss#) Please allow up to 48hrs for us to approve your registration.
Please notify the school via instant message, text, or via the portal each time you register for classes through FLVS. FLVS will tell you they will inform us of your need for approval, but they do not.
*Note: HPA is not affiliated with FLVS Connections Academy or K-12; these are public schools.
As a student of HPA is my high school student able to participate in dual enrollment at our local community college?
Unfortunately, because of legislation changes in 2018, we can no longer develop articulation agreements with colleges outside of our school district except in rare instances. Even within some of those, they expect the high school to pay for the courses, and we cannot pay for dual enrollment courses for our students. If you’d like us to try to form an articulation agreement with your institution, please let us know, and we’ll do our best to facilitate an agreement. If we cannot create a contract with your school of choice, your best course of action is to register with your county as a homeschooler and then with the college of your choice as a homeschooled dual enrollment student. Dual enrollment is an excellent program for those pursuing a college degree.
Here is more information from the Florida Department of Education:
Private (Nonpublic) Schools
Subsection (24) of Section 1007.271, F.S., states, “each postsecondary institution eligible to participate in the dual enrollment program pursuant to s. 1011.62(1)(i) must enter into a private school articulation agreement with each eligible private school in its geographic service area seeking to offer dual enrollment courses to its students, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities.”
Are you accredited?
No, HCPA is not accredited. In order to be accredited, schools must meet certain criteria when evaluated.
We are not a brick-and-mortar school, we have no teachers (other than parents), and we offer no curriculum or classes other than outside-sourced virtual programs. Therefore, we meet none of the criteria to meet accreditation standards.
When my high school student graduates from HPA will they be able to enter college, university, or military service?
In most cases, students from HPA have no problem entering college, university, or military service. However, it is always best to contact the institution you wish to join to find out precisely what they require and do so well in advance.
The only institutions from which I’ve ever encountered problems are State-funded community colleges. Problems are rare but do sometimes occur. Some have said they will only accept students from accredited schools or require the private school student to obtain a GED before entry. Because of these situations, I advise that you plan for college early and, if needed, withdraw from HCPA and register with the county as a homeschooler for the last year of high school.
As students of HPA may we participate in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program?
Yes, in some instances, Bright Futures is possible. According to Bright Futures, you must have been in a REGULAR private or public school program or registered with the county as a homeschooler for at least one year before registering for Bright Futures.
If you think this is something you’d like to use, I recommend that you plan well in advance by registering with either HPA or your local county homeschool program for at least one year before applying for Bright Futures.
Do you provide report cards or high school transcripts?
Yes, we provide report cards and transcript templates for our students on our website. You must maintain the information for these documents on your student profile for us to be able to access them and send them to where they are needed.
Do you accept students who live in other states or countries?
It depends upon the home education laws where you reside. If being enrolled in an out-of-state/country private school is a LEGAL option for you then yes, you may enroll.
Please be sure to check with your local laws for verification. We are not responsible, nor will we have any legal recourse to help you if you do not follow the laws where you reside.
Do I need to re-enroll annually?
If you are turning in attendance EACH AND EVERY month, then you do not have to re-enroll. The instances in which you would have to re-enroll are:
- If you miss turning in more than one month’s attendance by missing tuition payments.
- If you withdraw and would like to return to HCPA.
To re-enroll, simply go to the enrollment page, fill out a new enrollment form (one per student), and upload the required documents to your student profile page. If you re-enroll you may be subject to paying an enrollment fee and possibly any missed months of attendance in order to record said attendance.
How long does the enrollment process take?
Your enrollment begins on the date you place in the enrollment form, which is usually the day you fill out the form and submit. You have 30 days in which to upload the required documents. If you need an extension, please contact us to let us know.
When do you accept enrollments?
HCPA is a year-round school, we accept enrollments all year.
We are new to homeschooling; can you give us some advice?
Certainly! My advice is to take a deep breath and RELAX! As part of HCPA, you are no longer on anyone’s timetable except your own. You have the freedom to make decisions for your family and the time to follow through with them. Your days, weeks, months and years are yours to do with what you will. Take a vacation anytime you want without worry, take time off from “school” if you choose. You will have no one hanging over your shoulder telling you what to do or how to do it!
You have your child’s best interests at heart and will need to learn to trust that your child will get what they need when they need it. Children have a natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge, they will learn whether you teach them or not! Through trial and error, you will learn what works best for you and your family. If something isn’t working, you have the freedom to change it.
Firstly, please make sure you take the time to de-school. This is an important step many skip but is crucial! What this means essentially is that you take the time to ‘reboot.’ The general rule of thumb is to take off one month for each year of school attended thus far. This time is for you as well as for the student. If you are unfamiliar with what this means, please research and practice. I can’t express enough the importance of this to your success!
You have complete freedom to use any curriculum you choose, or you may choose none, that is completely up to you. A simple google search will present you with many options and choices. If you are new to homeschooling, I do suggest that you shop around and do not spend a lot on a boxed curriculum. Most seasoned homeschoolers end up using a variety of things to teach and until you learn what will work best for your family, it is best not to spend a fortune for things which may not work for you. Many companies will send you samples of their program if you request it. There are many options online which are completely free! I post many things on our Facebook fan page so please be sure to “like” us.
My last bit of advice is to join a local homeschool group if possible. It is always helpful to have a support system and being around like-minded people is a plus. If there are no local groups, start one! I’m sure there are others in your area who would be grateful to you. You may also join online groups as being able to connect with other home schoolers at any time is very beneficial. After enrolling with HCPA you may wish to join our private group on Facebook. To join, follow the link in your welcome email and be sure to send me a message with your real name, email address used to enroll, your student’s name and your enrollment date. That way I may verify your enrollment to keep the group private and secure.
You mentioned that we may choose to use no curriculum at all? How can we homeschool without using curriculum? Or what is Unschooling?
For starters, as part of HCPA you have freedom and are in complete control of all educational choices and decisions. You may choose to use any educational materials you would like as long as it is not another public or private school. Co-ops, homeschool groups, community classes, private classes, tutors, etc. are all acceptable options. A simple google search will provide you with a plethora of options, many of which are at little or no cost to you.
Personally, we began our home educating journey as strict school-at-homers. Through the course of time and in educating myself on the subject, we evolved into an unschooling family. I prefer to use the term “Whole Life Learners.” I believe the term unschooling leads one to believe that we don’t “school” at all. Unschooling does not necessarily mean we don’t ever use school, it simply means we learn through living, by following our interests. We trust that in doing so that we will get what we need, when we need it. I say we because we all learn, all the time, even as grownups, we never stop! As parents, we are more facilitators than teachers. We allow the child the freedom to learn at their own pace and provide opportunities and materials by which to do so. Certainly, if enrolling in classes, co-ops or even back into school, is something the child wants or needs, then we would facilitate that as well.
For more information on unschooling, please visit my Unschooling Resources page.
We are relocating to Florida soon, should we enroll now or wait until we move?
I do recommend that you enroll before withdrawing from your current school program so that there is no lapse in coverage. If you are not leaving immediately, please make sure we are a legal option for you in your current location before withdrawing from your current program.
We have moved, what do we need to do?
If you’re planning to remain enrolled with us, then all you need to do is change your address on your student profile on our website.
If you need to withdraw, please go to the Withdraw page and follow the instructions there.
If you’re moving out of State and would like to remain enrolled, please check with your local home education laws to make sure that being enrolled in an out of State/Country private school is a LEGAL option for you. If it is a legal option, then there is no need to withdraw from HCPA, but of course you may if you choose. We are not responsible, nor will we have any legal recourse to help you if you do not follow the laws where you reside.
I missed reporting attendance, what should I do?
If you have missed only one month then you must turn it in immediately to avoid being out of compliance the State compulsory attendance laws. If you missed more than one, you’ll most likely have been withdrawn and will have to re-enroll. To remain in compliance, you’ll need to pay for any missed months and report your attendance accordingly.
My child needs a work permit to allow working during school hours. Is this something you can provide?
Yes, I will be happy to provide you with a work permit letter. You may order this from your student profile on my website.
We are currently enrolled with HCPA, and we need something to prove our enrollment. Is that something you can provide?
Yes, I will be happy to provide you with an enrollment verification letter with your full annual tuition.
I need a school administrator to sign a document. Is this something you can provide?
Yes, I will be happy to provide you with a signature on your document. Please email me with the information and documents required.
Do you offer a high school diploma?
We do offer a regular high school diploma. While it is not accredited, nor is it a GED, it is widely accepted by most schools, institutions, military services, etc.
On a few occasions, I have heard of a publicly funded community college that did not accept our high school diploma because we are not accredited. These rare occasions are the only situations of which I am aware.
The best course of action would be to contact the institution in question to find out exactly what they require, as all schools are different. If they require an accredited diploma, then you may want to withdraw from HCPA and register with the county for the last year of high school. I would also highly suggest you contact HSLDA to let them know you were denied. This is a home education rights issue they have seen and dealt with before.
Does attending a private school with a homeschooling option meet the record keeping and testing requirements of the county or state?
Registering with a private school is a valid alternative for homeschoolers who choose not to register with the home education office in their county. Those registered in a private school must meet the requirements of that private school, within the law.
HCPA does not require a particular method of record keeping, report cards, transcripts, curriculum, classes, credits, or testing. However, we do encourage all families to document learning activities in some form.
We offer optional online record keeping of your report cards and transcripts on our website as part of our service to our students. We also encourage you to keep portfolios containing samples of your child’s work throughout the year including photos, reading lists, etc. Portfolios are a great way to document your child’s progress and accomplishments. These portfolios will not only serve as a scrapbook of your child’s work, but they can also be invaluable in later years when applying to colleges or seeking job positions.
OK, I’m ready! How do I enroll my child(ren)?
Great, we’d love to have you as part of our HCPA family! We are a year-round school and accept enrollments year-round as well. We are here for you whenever you are ready to begin your homeschooling journey through the private school option.
Enrolling is easy! Visit our enrollment page, fill out the required information, and submit your payment. Within 48 hours of your enrollment, we will send a welcome email to the email address you provide when you enroll. This message contains valuable instructions and information to help you complete the enrollment process.
If you do not receive this email within 48 hours of your enrollment, please be sure to check your junk or spam folder. If after one week you still have not received this email, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may call or text us at (850) 972-8099. Please understand that your child(ren) will not be officially enrolled until the entire enrollment process has been completed.